Today I bring you… not a rant, but some woes.
I have always loved Amazon. One huge bookshop full of all the books you could ever dream of – delivered right to your door in a few short days. Who could ask for more? (except maybe free books?)
When I first got into YA way way back in 2008, the first books I delved into (some of which were YA, some of which were adult) were books that were acclaimed, but were not published in the UK yet. One of them was Stray by Rachel Vincent, which I don’t believe has ever been picked up by a UK publisher. The point is, I could get books online that I couldn’t from a bookstore, and they were cheap. They were actual bargains.
The first book I bought on my own account was apparently The Immortals: Shadowland by Alyson Noel. I purchased it in 2010 for £3.48. The same book today costs £6.99 on Amazon UK.
In 2011, I bought a lot of books. Almost all of these books cost in the range of £3.49 to £5, and they all now cost their full jacket price – often £6.99, but sometimes £7.99, £8.99.
I understand that authors get paid a pittance, but from a consumer point of view, I’m now getting maybe a third of the books I could have bought in 2010. The same exact books.
This week, a lot of us UK readers have had a problem with a book. The Rose and the Dagger is the final (and second) installment in Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn duology. I, like many, pre-ordered a copy, and expected delivery on release date.
Release date came and my order was still pending. Delivery date pending. I checked the order page, and delivery estimate was 3-5 WEEKS.
Now, my order has been dispatched today (the day after release date) and should be with me tomorrow, but I also have Prime, and expect release date delivery.
So, Amazon is in my bad books for a few reasons. One, prices have gone up massively (and I’m not sure if this is good for the authors – maybe it is?). Two, regular shipping now takes days. Three, books don’t ship on their release date!
I’d LOVE if eBooks and physical copies of books were bundled together. Then I could start reading at midnight on release day, and have a beautiful book for my shelf.
I think it’s time for other bookstores to be given a chance.